Remember the Dustin Hoffman movie, “Outbreak” from the nineties? Will we one day have our city walled off by CDC officials lumbering around in white plastic airtight suits? I think those scenes are exciting for movies, but it’s unlikely that we will ever see them play out in reality.
The Ebola scare is an important reminder for us to be aware of wild animals. Ebola virus has been around for many years, living in its’ natural reservoir, the fruit bat population of Africa. Fruit bats infect other animals and the humans come in contact with the virus that way. We don’t have to fear Ebola virus, but there are deadly diseases all around us living in their natural reservoirs right in our region.
Rabies is a deadly disease with no cure that can live in all mammals and heavily infects skunks and raccoons of our area. We usually don’t even think of it until we come across a raccoon acting strangely but it is out there. When our dogs and cats go outside, they tend to explore the borders of the yard under the bushes and in the dark corners that we rarely go and this is where they are at risk for contracting rabies from a wild animal. What happens next? They can bring it home to us.
Rabies vaccine for dogs and cats is required by law to protect our pets and the people of our community. Keeping your pets’ up to date on rabies vaccines is a vital public service.
The most common infections from wild animal populations that we see in our area actually come from ticks. Wild animals can come through your yard at night and deposit ticks on your well-manicured lawn where you would never expect to find them. If you have questions about protecting your family, a veterinarian is an expert on all types of animals and disease life cycles associated with animals.